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Book Review – Times Like These by E.E. Smith

Posted by mcm0704 on February 7, 2016 |

times like these coverTimes Like These

E.E. Smith
File Size: 5342 KB
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: Phoenix International, Inc. (April 4, 2012)
Publication Date: April 4, 2012
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B007RQRQIY

BOOK BLURB: “Times like these are about as unpredictable as boardinghouse stew!” says Teddy Soberjowski in the author’s pervious book, Boardinghouse Stew. The year was 1943, midway through World War II, when no one knew what would happen next. Two years later, the times are even less predictable for the young heroine of Times Like These, on her way to a new home and an uncertain future with her volatile parents.

The war rages on in the Pacific, amid heavy casualties. Harry Truman is now president and secretly considering the use of a horrific new weapon to force Japan to surrender.

What would happen next?

REVIEW: This story fits nicely into the relatively new category of a Real-Life Novel, and I enjoy reading  these books on two levels. They give a glimpse into the past, and I am an avid reader of anything historical, and they often introduce me to a person who had less than a stellar childhood and managed to come out of the fray a stronger person.

That is as true for E.E. Smith, as it was for Lily Casey in Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls. Both are strong women whose resilience and hard work make them heroes of their time.

This story picks up where Boardinghouse Stew left off in 1945, and young Evelyn Eileen travels from Sacramento to join her mother and father at a desolate train depot in Shafter, Nevada where he s a telegrapher for the Western Pacific Railroad. Evelyn has always felt closer to her father than her mother, so on one level she is glad they are together, but she soon realizes that their future is precarious due to her father’s drinking.

She tries to cover for him as much as she can, but one horrible night his drunkenness causes a train to crash and their lives change irrevocably. Her father is fired, and her mother leaves with another man.

The pain and uncertainty of her life comes through quite well, and Evelyn is a character to be loved and admired. She never gives up, which is perhaps the strongest message in this well-written, engaging story.

Like any good novel, there is a real sense of time and place in the narrative, and I particularly enjoyed learning how the train depot operated at that time in history.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: E.E. (Evelyn Eileen) Smith first attended the University of Iowa, and later received a B.A. in Fine Arts from California State University Long Beach. She has written numerous stageplays and they have been performed in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and both northern and southern California.

Writing awards include a Drama Award from FS Theatrebooks, New York, (for BOARDINGHOUSE STEW);  awards from Writers Digest (for PRIVATE LIES and PLAYTIME IN LONDON);  and the Gem Award from Jewel Box Theatre, Oklahoma City (for WARTIME RECIPES).

Currently, E.E. Smith lives near  San Francisco where she now writes books and short stories instead of plays. Her first novel, BOARDINGHOUSE STEW (based on the play of the same name) was published in 2009, and the New Edition published in 2011, along with the sequel, TIMES LIKE THESE. A Memoir, IN LOVE AND WAR, came out as an e-book in 2012. Also as e-books, a series of murder mysteries debuted in 2013, beginning with DEATH BY MISADVENTURE. It was followed by BAD BLOOD, RUSSIAN ROULETTE, and PRESCRIPTION FOR MURDER. By 2015, the hardcover editions of BOARDINGHOUSE STEW and TIMES LIKE THESE will be out of print, but both are returning as brand new editions of e-books.

Please do come back on Wednesday when E.E. will be my Wednesday’s Guest, sharing a little about her writing and other interests. In the meantime, you can find out more about her on her WEBSITE

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